Sunday, September 17, 2017

Stitch Along in September

I almost missed it! After several mostly good days I fell victim to a series of low level toxins. Fortunately I have now recovered and can share with you the needlework I've been doing.

I'll begin by stating that I have finished the secret project but have not yet bestowed it on the intended recipient. Hopefully you'll get to see it in my next SAL post on 8 October. In the meantime I have begun yet another needlepoint case. This one is the size of a cosmetic bag, about 4.5" x 7."

I've also done a bit more embroidery on the set of pillowcases I started in August.

In all their wrinkled glory!

The next step with these is to decide what colors to use for the flowers. Well, once I've completed the scroll work.

I used Nancy's hand dyed floss for the scroll work. It's a warm dark green from her Spooky Hollow II collection. The last batch of floss in the limited edition floss club I joined were mostly pale shades. I prefer the more vibrant tones. I'm very tempted to purchase the current collection of autumn colors (like I need more floss!). But there are probably skeins I could use already in my possession.

I've also made progress on the next caravan I'm embroidering for The Sketchbook Project. I don't know how many there will be in the end. This is the fourth in my series.

I'm doing it with an eye to making a steampunk trailer. So mostly metallic colors: bronze, pewter, etc. - but not metallic thread. I don't want the shine or sparkle that would give.

I'm not entirely happy with the widow in the door but I doubt I'll do anything about it. I thought I'd use colonial or French knots to indicate bolts around the porthole windows; they turned out to be too bulky. The simple running stitch did the job very well as it turned out. This has been set aside for a while; I need to get back to it so I don't lag too far behind.

There's quite a group of us in this stitch along now. All sorts of needlework is being done among us. I invite you to take the tour by clicking on the names below. We have some new members this time around and we welcome them. If you'd like to join us leave a comment on Avis's blog. :- )

Friday, September 15, 2017

Scrap Happy Day in September

No way we're already half way through the month! Guess that's what happens when you've got your head down in your scrap basket. ;- )

I took a break from the Truly Scrappy scrappy trip blocks this time around. Instead I made 12" (finished) Lego blocks out of my 2" scrap strips.

Each block is made up of eight rows of bits sewn end to end. I started with just three blocks. Before I knew it I had six. Then this happened:

Another set of six blocks! When I added them to the handful I had in the Parts Department I discovered I had 18 altogether. That meant I only needed two more to make 20 for a 4 x 5 setting. Yup, I went ahead and made them up too. I don't have a picture of them though, not yet. I haven't really had time to play with the blocks on the wall either. I'm thinking I might surround the 20 blocks with a 2" frame and then a 4" wide border. That would give me a 60" x 72" quilt, a nice size for a child or an adult's lap quilt. The first step is to get the blocks arranged in a pleasing manner. Give me a few days... Oh, and while you're waiting you can hop on over to Kate or Gun's blogs where they have links to others who are playing with their scraps for Scrap Happy Day. :- )

Monday, September 11, 2017

Wild Times

I've been pretty distracted for the past week, keeping up with news coming out of Texas and then Florida. My husband basically grew up in Houston and I lived in the Houston area for eleven years (most of them with him after we were married). We still have family and friends living where Harvey first dumped buckets of rain. Fortunately they are all well and accounted for but there are those who have a lot of work ahead of them. At this writing it remains to be seen how much damage Irma will end up causing.

Meanwhile, the wildfires here in the western states are still not under control.We had a couple of days of smoky air. I tried to take a picture the morning I got up to a hazy yellow-orange sky but it didn't look like anything so I won't bother to share it.  The fires aren't all that close to us, it was just the direction of air flow on those days. Since then the weather has changed again and we're enjoying temperatures that are closer to normal for us at this time of the year. We've also had the first real rain in something like two and a half months. You may have faintly heard the joy and rejoicing that took place in this corner of the nation. ;- )

In the studio I have been working on a variety of projects. I finally finished the binding on this quilt for Covered in Love:

60" x 75"
This picture was taken after it had been through the washer and dryer. I love the texture; it's so lovely and cuddly!

There's a block drive for more Covered in Love quilts so I made up a pair of them to send along with the quilt.

I also had some Bear Paw units set up, ready to assemble, for the August Nights quilt. They made for great mindless sewing when I needed it.

I'm a little concerned that they may not have enough contrast to them.

I'll deal with that the next time I have a burst of creative energy. My hope is that once the necessary sashing is in place the paws will show up a little better. On the other hand it may not make a difference at all. We shall see.

I also made up some blocks I'll show on our next Scrap Happy Day at the end of this week (the 15th). We have another Stitch Along check in on the 17th too.

With the drop in outdoor temperatures and the kids heading back to school it felt like time to swap out the quilts on my bed. Off came the lighter, brighter, white-based quilts and in their place I put my Footsquare Freestyle 2 and Macabre Medallion on the bed, one on top of the other.

I don't need two quilts to sleep under yet but I do enjoy being able to see both quilts regularly. I'm one of those freaks who actually enjoys making the bed. Or maybe I should say, I enjoy having the bed made up!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

All Over the Map

First, before the weekend gets away from me altogether, let me show you the last of the light neutral blocks I've made out of my scrap patches in conjunction with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. There have been two sets of blocks I don't think I've shared yet. These were made over a week ago:

And these I whipped up on the last day of the month:

I don't know if I've said it before but I was surprised at how soothing I find these blocks to be visually. While I was assembling them the voices in my head were going on about the lack of contrast and how awful they were going to look. Take that, Miss Pessimist! Next we get to play in our orange scraps. I've already put away the neutrals and brought out the oranges. What a pitiful pile it is! I believe I'm going to have to create some new orange scraps... what a pity. ;- )

I'm linking up with the other RSC bloggers late though it may be.

On another note, Claire over at Knitnqwilt reblogged a post by Melanie McNeil that is very timely and wise regarding the donation of quilts and other goods to victims of major disasters. Let me do my part to spread the word by suggesting you hop on over to Catbird Quilt Studio to read it for yourself.

For those friends who have left comments on recent posts of mine let me just say that I've been taking full advantage of slightly cooler weather and healthier hours to accomplish things other than responding to comments or reading blogs. Apparently we're looking at a week's worth of hot weather with possibly smoke tainted air so you may not hear from me in the immediate future. I don't believe I've ever been so anxious for cool, gloomy days to return!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bee, Myself and I in August

The Bee, Myself and I effort was an idea Granny Maud's Girl came up with to help her accomplish the projects she wanted to do for herself but kept putting off. I haven't done anything with my selfish sewing project for the last couple of months. To be honest, the embroideries I've been doing have felt pretty self-serving. But it's also been too warm to sew comfortably this summer. We've been blessed with a couple of cooler days this week so I dug out my batiks and made up a few more blocks in my more favorite colors:

Then I had to get out the other blocks I've made to see where I am with this project.

There are only three spots left to fill out the 4 x 5 setting I'd planned. However, there's some blending that needs to be done. I like the transition from yellow to orange in the upper row. I need to eliminate that distinct line between yellow and orange on the right side, three blocks down. And then there are the pink blocks. I love pink and orange together, along with yellow, but if I can't blend them in better this may end up being strictly a yellow and orange quilt.

I'm not entirely happy with the yellow block in the second row down, second block from the right. It looks a bit gold in the photo above. That's because about half the strips in that block feature red and yellow prints. That one may have to be removed from the mix. Taking it out will give me a bit more leeway for the blending I'd like to attempt.

Getting these blocks out again has inspired some new ideas for color manipulation that could be fun to try some day. Or maybe I'll change my plans for these blocks! We're due for some more hot weather (relatively speaking) in the days ahead so it may be the end of September before I do anything more. ;- )